‘I Unexpectedly Conceived The Same Month I Reached My Goal Weight’: Dannie Cooley's Life Took A Turn When She Started Counting Calories

Date April 24, 2018 14:55

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the world. It travels with various other diseases, which combined kill millions of people per year. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, dementia and more.


Main causes of weight gain


In the discussions about weight gain and obesity, many people seem to think that it is purely a function of willpower. Here are five factors that are leading causes of weight gain, obesity, and metabolic disease, that really have nothing to do with willpower.

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1. Your gut is slow


Digestive issues, including slow bowel movements, may also account for excess pounds.

2. Insulin


Insulin is a very important hormone that regulates energy storage, among other things. The best way to lower insulin is to cut back on carbohydrates, which usually leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and effortless weight loss.

3. Junk foods


Today, foods are often little more than refined ingredients, mixed in with a bunch of chemicals. These products are engineered to be cheap, last long on the shelf and taste so incredibly tasty that we just can't get enough.

4. You're depressed


Many anti-depressant medications cause weight gain—so if you're depressed and taking pills for it, expect to see a bump in weight between 5 and 15 pounds, with continued gradual accumulation over the years.

5. Genetics


Obesity has a strong genetic component. Offsprings of obese parents are much more likely to become obese than offsprings of lean parents.

The story of Dannie Cooley

What 50 pounds does to your face

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27-year-old Dannie Cooley of San Diego, California, finally conceived after she reached her goal weight. In 2009, living with her boyfriend and mother, she started to feel depressed, and that's when it started.

I remember thinking to myself how much I hated my life and that I should totally buy an entire cheesecake and bottle of champagne because at least that was enjoyable. I knew I was getting fat. I had no delusions about that fact or why it was happening. I was simply filled with self-loathing and purposely chose to live my life this way.

Throw back to 09

A post shared by Dannie Cooley (@danniecooley) on

It went on for about five years and for medical reasons, she had to leave university two semesters before graduation. She worked on a ranch as a meat packer and a sanitation worker, then to a plastic factory. She moved on to a coffee shop, and that's when the positive environment awakened her. She got married in 2015:

When I got the wedding pictures in April 2015, I came to the horrifying realization that I was sick. I did this to myself; I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t know what it looked like from an outside perspective. I had an out of body experience that shook me to my core. I cried.

She made a checklist and started working towards her goal. From April 2015 until January 2018, she slowly lost 80 pounds.

Then I got pregnant. I unexpectedly conceived late in January, the same month that I reached my goal weight. I thought that that was pretty fitting, since the question that I demanded of myself that lead to me losing weight involved reproducing. Being pregnant has made my gym goals more difficult, different, and more important than ever. I make myself do everything I did before but at a fraction of the weight or speed, focusing on form and enjoyment rather than pushing myself to the limit.

I did it! March 2016 and January 2018, 80 pounds and at my goal weight! Bahaha

A post shared by Dannie Cooley (@danniecooley) on

She shared her story because she wanted to create awareness for the way mental health affects the body.

A post shared by Dannie Cooley (@danniecooley) on

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How to set up weight loss goals


Setting goal is probably one of the more difficult steps of a weight loss program. How much do you need to lose and how should you calculate that number?


The way most of us approach it is to choose a number based on what we used to weigh or, perhaps, what we've always wanted to weigh but is that a realistic goal? So, what's the answer to all of these questions?


The first step is to learn how to set reachable weight loss goals that you can measure. The key to setting weight loss goals is to follow the standard of goal setting, which means it needs to be SMART. A smart goal is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Tangible.


If you find you're not losing weight as quickly as you thought, this is very normal. Change your goal weight or the length of time to reach it. Remember, your goal needs to be attainable, so be willing to set new goals if the old ones aren't working for you.

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